MSA Stage 5 School of Architecture

Joe Sampey

Above / Below

Above / Below

Exploitation of the Earth and the environment has occurred since humans first walked the Earth and are now at levels never before seen. The adverse affects of these goals is the damage on the environment, and the removal of humans from planetary systems which is threatening the species and systems in place as well as our presence on the Earth. A massive upheaval in the collective understanding of our connection with the Earth is needed in order to reverse the damage created by humans on the world. Architecture has its role to play in this reversal, as not only one of the biggest contributors to global emissions, but also changing perceptions of life within the environment.

The aim is to create a way of doing architecture which challenges the current anthropocentric view, to focus on the environment as a finite entity and a system of relationships. This way of making architecture is predicated on aims of gentle, caring and conscientious construction, and an architecture that focuses on the needs of animals, flora and fauna, and humans in a connected balance. An architecture that is open to the variations of seasons and climate, of the night and day transitions, of the relationship with the ground and the intricate systems of soils, roots and ecology, of the sky, clouds and all natural phenomena.

The project hopes to expand what architecture means and achieves. A line of trees, rows of stone walls, enclosed spaces for non-human activities, growing spaces for trees and plants, and buildings for human inhabitation are all treated as equal in an Earthly Architecture.

The thesis project was developed through an exchange in Mendrisio, Switzerland and Glasgow School of Art